The experiences on trying to run Linux as a home and office desktop.



I decided to take this blog and move it to my personal blog. If by any change you were reading this on its "udpated some times" mode, you can follow the discussion under the desktop tag.


A music player that doesn't suck

The name is quite strange, but the program rocks. Quod Libet is another music player that uses GStreamer, but it is written in Python. The greatest features of it are the plugins (like lyrics retrieval and tag search on MusicBrainz).

The layout are quite similar to iTunes and it is easy to understand. Another good point are the filters, so you can filter music by the classic filters like albums, artist and song name or use the most advanced filters, like last 10 songs player or songs that never played.

Worth a look.


The hard way to make a scanner work

Today I had to scan my passport to bought my Europass. As I was in a hurry, so first try was use Windows. Good thing: it didn't work; the driver kept complaining that there was "no scanner found", even with the thing right in front of me, with all the lights on.

So, next step: let's just try it on Linux. Guess what: sane-find-scanner (or something like that) found the damn USB scanner, but scanimage couldn't find any scanners. That's something that I can't understand: why the hell one program can find a scanner and the second don't, if both use the same backend?

Is desktop Linux stuck on stupid?

A good food-for-thought article on ZDNet named Is desktop Linux stuck on stupid?. So far, I think I must agree: trying to mimic Windows look'n'feel is bad, 'cause Linux is not Windows, for the start.


GNOME 2.12 is out

Today we had the official release of GNOME 2.12. Again, there is few (in my opinion) changes in the user interface (you can get a full changes here) but as I'm using the unstable release on my workstation, I can say that it really feels faster, the new default theme looks better than the previous default (Raleigh versus Clearlooks) and there are some nice titbits there and there. Really, an improvement, but nothing serious yet.


No sound, no fun II - Why you can't even rant about Linux Desktop

After trying a few tools to find out why Rhythmbox was crashing (strace, ltrace, gdb), it somehow looked like a GTK+ problem (gtk_window_new). I didn't believe it, so I left things the way they were. Just a few minutes before starting this blog and post the rant, update-notifier appeared on the notification area to point out that there was updates. It start downloading stuff, and I start typing my rant. When update-notifier finished, I noticed that GTK+ was updated. Guess my surprise when, just after the update, I tried to run Rhythmbox again just for the kicks and it showed up without a problem.

No sound, no fun

A few days ago, I decided to update my Ubuntu Linux from the stable release to the unstable. The main reason for switching was to try out the new GTK+, that now uses the Cairo rendering library. At first I got a little worried, as the last time I tried to do that, the system would not even boot. This time, things got into shape and worked out perfectly.

But not everything is just roses and happy little poneys running under a rainbow, and for an unknown reason, Rhythmbox stopped working. I tried everything I could think of, even recompiling the whole thing, without success. I suspect it has something related to gstreamer, but I can't find out how to fix it.

Rhythmbox problems apart, things are really really nice here. The system feels faster, even with Cairo not using the Glitz backend (which speed up rendering using OpenGL); GNOME feels a little bit more polished (as it have been in the last releases), like the Urgent notification in the window list (windows that require attention now blink, as it happens some times on Windows).

Now all I need is just a way to make the sound work again...